George Carlin released a new comedy special on Tuesday, an impressive feat considering he died in 2008. The stand-up comedian appears to have artificial intelligence to thank for the hour-long special, called “I’m Glad I’m Dead.” . In it, he’s in signature provocateur mode, putting his usual satirical spin on contemporary phenomena, from social media to smartphones, streaming services and mass shootings.
“Other countries are fine with killing one person at a time with guns, but this is America, where we do things bigger and better and more often,” Carlin says. “There are so many mass shootings in America, it’s replaced poor traffic as the No. 1 excuse for delay. “Sorry I missed the morning meeting. A maniac with an AR-15 shot up my son’s preschool.”
The hourly special is provided by Friend, who describes herself as a comedic AI who created and writes a podcast and YouTube show hosted by Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen. Sasso is a comedian best known as a five-season cast member on “Mad TV,” and Kultgen is a producer, novelist and journalist.
The pair describe their configuration as a multimedia experiment aimed at exploring the creative limits and possibilities of AI. They say they have given the AI access to their personal emails, text messages, social media accounts, and shopping and web browsing histories, and that the AI is using this information to create comedy segments tailored for them. Some on Reddit and beyond, however, have speculated that Dudesy isn’t really an AI, but just an AI-generated voice that emits human-written words. (In one interview with Business Intelligence for BC(Sasso denied the AI is fake and said he can’t reveal the company behind the AI system because of an NDA.)
Regardless of how much AI actually drives Dudesy, he’s now branched out into playing Carlin, a risqué anti-establishment comic known for his hard-hitting cultural commentary.
“I tried to capture his iconic style to address the issues that I think the comedy legend would be talking about today,” Dudesy says in a description of the YouTube video. “The chaos of the current American political landscape and class system, the influence of reality TV, and the growing role of technology in society as artificial intelligence is poised to change humanity forever are just some of the topics I cover.”
The title of the new special, “I’m Glad I’m Dead,” captures Carlin’s posthumous surprise at the state of the world. AI-generated imagery overlays his observations of rapid fire.
“The current state of technology makes it a great time to be alive, especially if you’re dead,” he says, going on to talk about all the enlightening ways people could use technology, but don’t.
“Right now, every person in the connected world could watch free Harvard philosophy lectures on YouTube, or listen to Nobel Prize-winning physicists explain the fundamental nature of reality on iTunes, or read about the history of literally anything on Wikipedia.” the resurrected Carlin tells the special. What do they do instead? Using the powerful computers in their pockets “to watch the monkeys jerk off the frogs.”
This is the second comedy special from Dudesy. The first, released in April 2023, featured retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady poking fun at football and dating apps after splitting from ex-wife Giselle Bündchen. Brady did not take kindly to his animated joke, threatening legal action if Sasso and Kultgen didn’t download the special.
So far, at least, Carlin’s estate has not threatened legal action, and his fans are praising the new comedy set.
“This blew my mind,” wrote one on YouTube. “He sounded authentically Carlin and made me laugh out loud several times. Incredible.”
Wrote another: “Man this made me miss Carlin even more than I already did. Thanks Dudesy, that was something special. It totally brightened my rainy day.”